UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Brian Moore's special cachet: a study in characterization Jeffery, Irene Brenda


The purpose of this study, is to establish the thesis that Brian Moore's predominant concern with the characterization of his individual protagonists influences both the form and content of his first seven novels. Chapters I and II discuss the effect of Moore's interest in character on the structural elements of plot and point of view. Chapter I describes the typical Moore plot which traces the gradual transformation of the character of the protagonist as the result of a series of disillusioning events which climax in a moment of revised self-recognition. Thus, plot is operative in determining character. The most striking aspect of Moore's narrative technique, discussed in Chapter II, is his accomplished mixing of first and third-person narration. As a consequence, Moore is able to present the protagonist with the objectivity of third-person narration at the same time as he advances the protagonist's subjective view in the first-person. In all Moore's novels, however, the emphasis on the protagonist's view ensures that his personality dominates the narrative. Chapters III and IV deal with the elaborate patterns of language and image which illuminate Moore's novels. Chapter III links the unique linguistic quality of each novel to its source in the language, character, and situation of the protagonist, while Chapter IV describes the patterns of imagery which reveal the protagonist's vision of himself and of his world. In the latter chapter, the several methods by which Moore depicts the physical and psychological qualities of his characters are discussed as well as his special visualization of each novel in its entirety. Both chapters argue that Moore's considerable skills in manipulating language and image find a focus in the central .character of each novel. Chapter V deals with the underlying ideas in Moore's fiction and, in particular, with the search for identity which is fundamental to all seven novels. Like Moore's protagonists, who are themselves ordinary human beings, Moore's themes are founded in common human experience. And so, the discussion of thematic content which concludes this study illustrates yet another area in which Moore's concern with the portrayal of character influences his fiction.

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